Drivers in Connecticut and across the United States need to be aware of pedestrians that are crossing the street. Though pedestrians typically have the right of way when crossing the road, many vehicles do not stop to allow them to cross. A new study finds that this may be especially true for those who drive expensive vehicles.
Researchers from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas found that drivers with more expensive vehicles were less likely to yield to pedestrians when compared with drivers who drove less expensive cars. For every $1,000 in the increase of the car’s value, the likelihood of the driver yielding to a pedestrian decreased by 3%. The study also found that drivers were less likely to stop for male pedestrians and pedestrians of ethnic or racial minorities.
More than 6,000 people were killed in pedestrian accidents in 2018. This is the highest number of pedestrian deaths since 1990, a 3.4% increase from 2017. Though vehicle drivers have the legal responsibility to yield to pedestrians, pedestrians need to protect themselves too. Making eye contact with a driver, waiting to cross a street until vehicles have stopped and always crossing in marked crosswalks can help pedestrians stay safe on the roads.
When a driver fails to yield to a pedestrian and hits him or her, serious injuries often occur. These injuries may include neck injuries, broken bones, head trauma or brain damage. Extensive medical care is often necessary to treat those injured in a motor vehicle accident. If a driver behaved negligently, he or she might be responsible for damages. For example, a driver who was texting may not have realized they were approaching a crosswalk and hit a pedestrian. A lawyer may file a civil suit on behalf of the injured pedestrian. The injured pedestrian might be able to collect medical and compensatory damages.